Leon County Votes to Support Lake Hall Schoolhouse Preservation

Leon County Votes to Support Lake Hall Schoolhouse Preservation

Over the last several months, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners have received reports and heard from citizens regarding the preservation of the Lake Hall Schoolhouse.

During the June 14th Board meeting, elected officials voted 5-1, with Commissioner Proctor in opposition, to authorize the county to purchase property at 4664 Thomasville Road for $425,000.

The approved agreement between the county and the proprietor states the county will pay an “option fee” of $20,000 to the landowner. The county then has 12 months to purchase the property. The initial $20,000 will be detracted from the $425,000 at closing if the land is bought.

The Thomasville Road parcel is needed to facilitate any efforts to restore the schoolhouse and open it to the public as a historical exhibit.

Additional costs, including the architectural restoration of the schoolhouse and construction of supporting infrastructure and facilities, would also be needed, for a total estimated acquisition and construction cost of $3.3 million. However, grant funding may be available to offset some of these costs, and the nonprofit Friends of the Lake Hall School organization has committed to seeking grants to support.

An amendment made by Commissioners Dozier and Proctor will have county staff reach out to the Leon County School Board and the City Commission regarding their commitment to assisting in funding the Lake Hall School House restoration.

14 Responses to "Leon County Votes to Support Lake Hall Schoolhouse Preservation"

  1. so this is the property that already has a 4/2 house that is for sale – seemingly livable. Do they plan to tear that down?

  2. @Max Epstein. Any grant coming from a government entity is taxpayer money. It may not be totally local money, but it is still paid for by the taxpayers whether local, state or federal.

    I cannot believe the day has come when I am agreeing with Proctor.
    It appears as if Dozier is pandering for votes using our tax money. A time honored occupation.

    I am in complete agreement with Snidely. This is a feel good project which offers nothing to assuage the self inflicted guilt of some.

    This will not be a tourist attraction with hordes of visitors laughing and learning like they pipe dream of. The barber shop at Cascades was an expenditure with the same fantasy.

  3. Speaking of the CSC fraud let’s follow the money …

    – Placed on the ballot
    – Voters voted it in (not me)
    – Legitimate search for a COC director commenced
    – A top pick from Tennessee was made
    – Mayor’s wife wrote a recommendation for a Gillium campaign staffer and the top pick was changed to the Gillium staffer
    – Gillium staffer is chosen as director
    – CSC Director directs funding of $100,000 to the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
    – Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce pays Skip Foster former Tallahassee Democrat publisher
    – Skip Foster starts an online publication
    – Foster’s online publication publishes a manipulative online story extolling the virtues on the city manager for his overpaid upper management employees decision.

    So full circle the CSC is a tool for them to divvy out funds to the The Usual Suspects PR hacks to launder corruption for entrenched candidates in order to continue the cycle of corruption again and again.

    This needs to be investigated for criminal activity and hopefully the governor will appoint a special prosecutor.

    Not only is the CSC a taxpayer boondoggle it is a criminal enterprise.

  4. @DennisBarton Agreed. Kudos to Matlow (and very few others) for standing up against the Chambercrat status quo and publicly opposing the CSC property tax hike.

  5. This is nothing but a feel good $2M+++ now and more $Millions in the future for guilty feeling wealthy leftist white folks for the real or imagined wrongs of their ancesters role in American slavery.
    Total waste of money and of no use to our minority population on the South Side who’s young men are slaughtering their peers in gang war shootings.
    No South Side residents are going to be comfortable going up to the North Side Plantation area of Lake Hall to see “Their” School House $2M+++ Museum.
    Enjoy y’all’s feel good $2M+++ museum wealthy liberal, better than thou, shamefull white folk.
    Thank you for your No vote Mr. Proctor.
    Why was Mr. Proctor the only one with sense on this board? Again for Black folks this is nothing. For the white liberals, they are wrong, but somehow can not see the outright raciest folly of their support of this waste of time and money.

  6. People to whom it is valuable, such as ancestors of graduates, or historical preservationists, should pay for this if they want it. Given the far more critical needs of the community and current tax burdens on the people who already pay the bulk of taxes, this is idiotic.

  7. Hope, yes this will be a huge tourism draw. I bet it brings in over $500,000 per year (or more) to Leon County once it’s restored. It will pay for itself very quickly.

    David, the staff analysis has been professional in many ways, but extremely slanted. It’s clear the County Administrator did NOT want this to happen. $3.3M is an estimate for buying all land, restoration, and programming. But it is not an accurate number at all, especially with this property (Thomasville Road) already having a house on it. It will need a couple of ADA bathrooms and that’s about it, a small parking lot, etc. Nowhere near what they claim. It’s perfect, really. That estimate has not been updated or seriously looked at since April.

    Another example is portraying the need to come up with $866,000 in CASH to buy all properties and raid every contingency fund — as though it couldn’t be bought via bond, mortgage, etc. I’m sure the county has tools. The total cost to the county would be about $550,000 after selling a secondary house on one parcel. There are MANY creative private/public partnerships to be had here.

    The request also has NEVER been for the county to pay for anything more than the LAND and let the Friends of Lake Hall seek grants to restore it. Another misrepresentation. Dr. Seay recently recieved a $500,000 grant from the state for her property in Frenchtown, and I recently worked on a grant to restore Ashmore’s that got $750,000 (that grant was PLAGARIZED by the CoT and claimed as their own — but that’s another story). Dr. Seay I’m sure has received millions in grant funding over the years. It won’t be hard to find grants to restore the building without help from taxypayers.

    It may even be possible to get grant money to repay the county for the land itself after a few years of operation. If I were the county, I wouldn’t give it up… but that’s just me.

    Last thing I’ll say is this would have been a perfect use of Blueprint’s economic development money. There was a lot of lamenting about the need to be “fiscally responsible” on this project, with the $27 million elephant in the room.

  8. When this is restored this will be a nice place to visit and a draw for tourists.

    Also, the history lesson involved is priceless.

    I think they need to get more creative regarding funding sources such as through tourism, state grants from historical funds, private donations, etc.

    As far as the first place prize for misspent expenditures using taxpayer dollars I think one should take a seat at the City Commission meeting on Wednesday and watch the biggest display of publicity stunts/ ridiculousness unfold by City Manager Reese Goad and Mayor Dailey.

  9. When the awards are given out for the Most Dumb-Ass Expenditure of Public Money this one will take first place.

  10. I understand wanting to save it BUT, $2,875,000 to RESTORE the Shell of a small Building? That is $2,6000,000 TOO MUCH. You can build a Duplicate for about $100,000 since it shouldn’t have any Utilities at all, No Electric, no Plumbing, No Appliances, no Sheetrock, no Fixtures. Buy the needed Land and let that Group raise the Money to Restore it.

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